Our first stop was a small recreation area where people were fishing. There was not much to see there, but Sarah got a chance to see some open water and a lot of marsh.
At the very end of the trail, we saw an older couple looking at birds. They had spotted a scarlet tanager and were very excited about it. We told them about the big alligator just a little ways down the trail. They were not interested in alligators, only birds.
Holly Beach was one of the communities where I did an economic valuation of infrastructure 18 years ago for the Coast 2050 report. I drove around, took pictures and did an inventory of the infrastructure including roads and power lines. When I was there, the streets were numbered, 1st, 2nd, etc. There had been so much erosion, 1st and 2nd street no longer existed. All of the homes had washed into the Gulf.
Today, the streets are named after birds. There is a large beach providing buffer between the Gulf and the homes. And, many of the homes are quite nice. When I was there before, most of the places were either small shacks or trailers up on pylons.
The ferry ride is less than ten minutes, maybe even less than five, but it is the only way to get across. The truck driver was going to have to drive two hours out of his way to make his delivery.
We found a little restaurant in Cameron called Anchors Up Grill. It was very good. Sarah and I had shrimp po-boys, and Kate had a catfish po-boy. We also got an order of fries and an order of onion rings.
The next cemetery was the Chenier Perdue Cemetery. We did not have an address for it, just a general area. We stopped at a little store in Creole to see if anyone knew where it was. When we told the woman we were looking for the Chenier Perdue Cemetery, she said, “You are not! That’s where I live.” She was able to give us excellent directions directly to the cemetery. She also told us how to pronounce Sarah’s ancestor. It is spelled Baccigalopi. We were pronouncing it Bass’ i gu lo’ pee. She said it is pronounced Bass’ u gal’ upee.
On the way to the cemetery, there was a marsh and a ditch alongside the road on the passenger side. There were a lot of nutria in the ditch. Sarah was very excited, because she had never seen nutria. Unfortunately, she was not able to get a photo of them.
At the cemetery, Sarah found many of the graves she and Kate wanted to find including Bartholomew Bassigalopi. (He was the original, and the tombstone was spelled with “ss” instead of “cc.”) Bartholomew came to Louisiana as a stowaway on board a ship (probably a pirate ship) in the early 1800’s. The captain got mad at young Bart and threw him overboard along the coast of what is now Cameron Parish. Bart swam ashore and was found by a local family who let him move in with them.
We got to the main road and headed to New Iberia. The route took us through miles of rural roads. It also took us through Abbeville. It would have been nice to spend some time exploring Abbeville. It is a beautiful old town. However, that will have to wait for another time.
By the time we got to the Hampton Inn in New Iberia, we were all pretty tired. We looked for a restaurant close by and found a Vietnamese restaurant. We all love Vietnamese food. Sarah ordered a pho (soup) with shrimp and crab. Kate and I split a grilled shrimp Bun. It is a salad made with rice vermicelli, bean sprouts, lettuce, and other veggies. The dressing is made with fish sauce, oil, and peppers. We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner! It was not cajun, but it was a wonderful treat we have not had in a long time.